May home sales rose in N.Va. despite low inventory

WASHINGTON — The Northern Virginia Association of Realtors echoes the observations from other real estate groups in D.C. and across the nation that the lack of listings on the market is the biggest problem weighing on the housing market.

Even so, it was not a bad May for members of the NVAR, which covers Arlington and Fairfax counties plus the cities of Fairfax, Alexandria and Falls Church.

The number of sales in those Northern Virginia suburbs was up 9.3 percent from a year ago last month. And the average price of what sold was more than $589,000, up 4.7 percent from last May.

New pending sales, or contracts signed to buy a house or a condo in May, was up 8 percent from a year ago.

But the total number of active listings dropped in May, down 16 percent from a year ago despite an increase in new listings coming onto the market.

Some agents did note a slight decline in May activity compared to April, blaming both timing and the lack of properties to look at.

“With graduations and end-of-school-year activities people are busy,” said Lorraine Arora, NVAR chair-elect and managing broker at Weichert Realtors in Fairfax.

“For the serious house hunter, the low interest rates still help with affordability. We need inventory!” she said.

NVAR estimates the region’s supply of homes on the market represents just one month of sales at the current pace.

Even so, NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad said total sales in the association’s region have exceeded the year before for every single month so far this year.

See NVAR’s forecast for prices and sales over the next 12 monthshere.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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